Grand Duke of Westarctica
The title Grand Duke of Westarctica was created by Travis McHenry in June 2004 as part of the transition of the Achaean Territory from a new country project to a sovereign nation. The legal basis for the creation of the title is found in the Grand Ducal Mandate, as well as the Achaean Royal Charter.
Choice of title
Due to the vast land area encompassed by the country of Westarctica, there has been significant speculation and even occasional criticism over Travis' decision to proclaim himself a Grand Duke rather than a King or even an Emperor. As a sovereign leader of a newly-created monarchy, there were a wide range of titles to pick, but only the title of "Grand Duke" seemed to fit the description of what Westarctica actually was: a monarchy with limited resources and a small population, recognized by few world governments, and generally dependent on the kindness of larger nations for its continued existence.
In a 2018 interview for a documentary film, Travis gave as his motivations:
When you tell people you're a King, they're immediately credulous. Firstly, there aren't many Kings reigning in the world today, and most of them aren't hanging out at Starbucks on a Saturday morning. Secondly, there's a certain association that comes with being a King, and I don't think I'm there yet. We still have a tremendous amount of work to do before I can kick back and enjoy sitting on a gilded throne. A King is someone who has come through all that already. I'm not there yet. I'd love to have the title of Emperor someday, but it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Besides, there's not much dignity in being a poor Emperor. When I tell someone I'm a Grand Duke, it's a title they've never heard before, so they keep listening while I explain the history of Westarctica and before they know it, I've delivered the whole elevator pitch and they're asking how to sign up for citizenship.
So I picked the title of Grand Duke because it's accurate and obscure. I've kept it because it fits and it works.
List of Grand Dukes of Westarctica
|Grand Duke Travis||30 June 2004 - 14 January 2006||Grand Duchess Cathryn|
|Grand Duke Philip||14 January 2006 - 20 December 2008||Grand Duchess Melinda|
|Grand Duke Jon-Lawrence||30 December 2008 - 2 June 2010||Grand Duchess Lisa|
|Throne Vacant (2 June 2010 - 21 September 2012)|
|Grand Duke Travis||21 September 2012 - Present||Prince-Consort Dinny|